Personal Pledge: Buying Local this Xmas

First off —


I want to take a moment to share a personal commitment I’ve made this season, which I believe will make a real difference in my local community (and the world), and make this holiday interesting and fun for me and those I’m giving to.

I believe that, as a citizen, I have a unique and inalienable power to make a difference in the economy and in the future of this nation with the choices I make every day. Based on that belief, this holiday season I’ve decided make a commitment to use my spending power in the best way I can think of:

** to buy my gifts ONLY from locally owned, independently operated businesses, artists or artisans. **

I’m no stranger to the last-minute present run to Target, Wal-mart… hey, even Walgreens!  But this year, I figured that with a little planning, research and discipline, I could feel better about giving by giving something to my community with each thing I purchase. I’m a big fan of discovering and better utilizing the incredible resources in my community, plus there’s so many reasons to buy local. Here’s a video ’bout it:

(thanks Don Hall and Transition Sarasota!)

I invite you to join me in making this commitment. Together, we can make a huge impact–and have fun doing it!

from Mommy Magazine article on Sarasota Farmer's Market


To help my friends carry out this commitment, I’ve pulled together a few resources for figuring out how to buy things locally that we might otherwise go to big retailers to purchase.

1. “Faves&Friends” ~ a list of my favorite local talent, goods and services you can use for buying gifts. Please comment with any of YOUR faves to improve this list.

2. Atomic Holiday Bazaar – if you missed it, you can still check out their many vendors and find awesome stuff via their blog/website. You can also see a little of what Uprise Art Collective had for sale at our booth, and hit us up for some.

3. You can buy my art and fun artsy products – I just got more stuff up online and have been on a merch-making binge for about a month!   Check it out: ONLINE – at Aprilart Studios website, locally at Five Points Collective, or order a super unique gift for 2012 of your loved one’s choice with a custom commission.

Sarasota Architectural Salvage - a great place to shop. Photo from same Mommy Magazine article.

WILL YOU JOIN ME? If you’re so inspired, awesome! You can just take the pledge yourself, or increase your impact by sharing this with your friends, neighbors, colleagues. The people themselves are the ones who make history — that’s us!!!

You can make your pledge ‘official in a couple of ways’–choose that which suits you best:

  1. Reply to this blog saying that you’re in. While you’re at it, please share few words on why you chose to join and any resources or tips you know about to help others make this shift.
  2. Join the facebook event page, or start your own event! (be sure to invite me)
You can also email this blog to your friends, or write your own personal statement and send it around.

Beautiful hommade candles from Sarasota's own LolaBlue





Random notes:

Have a gift / talent/ skill?  (everybody does)  I’m also counting “making it myself” as a legitimate present — using our own gifts and talents is a great way to build community and deepen relationships with the people in our life.  This is a great option if you’re not only gifted (which you are), but broke.  🙂

I’ve also taken to asking my friends to buy for ME locally, or to make me something themselves. My Dad ended up making me an awesome print display rack–he even made it a little early so I could use it for the Uprise Art Collective booth at Atomic Holiday Bazaar this year. Score!

Display Rack ala my Daddy, right hand side

What are YOUR favorite local folks and spots that are great for holiday buying?  

Comment below so we can grow this list even bigger and build a big strong UNIQUE local economy.



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7 Responses to Personal Pledge: Buying Local this Xmas

  1. Wow April, you are an amazing sage for this community! All I can say is how lucky I feel to be part of your entourage. Those words need to be shared and while doing so, your message will make a HUGE difference in our ways to perceive the act of giving.

    Thanks so much for this powerful blog!


    • April says:

      hahaha! well my dear just remember YOU started this whole thing by having the courage to follow your dream of making amazing [and useful] clay creations for a living. I’m equally proud to be part of your entourage. Thank you for sharing your inspiration — now everyone, please go see what Nela makes at


  2. Rex Lai says:

    I had a wonderful time shopping in the artistic heartbeat of Cincinnati…Over-the-Rhine (OTR).

    While shopping for stuff that I don’t normally get (like those sparkly things that hang off earlobes…what are they called again?), I had the experience of connecting in way that I don’t normally consider “Community Building”. I was weaving social fabric just by shopping!

    Let me be clear: this was INTENTIONAL shopping. I chose to go to a particular neighborhood and just went through a community inquiry exercise. I went on a sort of walkabout. Some would call this Discovery by Wandering Around. The business anti-thesis to this is the commonly used MBO (Management by Objectives).

    Just by being in the moment and staying curious, I wandered into a great store called “Urban Eden”. Standing there and greeting me is Julie, owner of one of my favorite cafe hangouts and activist citizen of OTR. It turns out that she also owns this store.

    Her store highlights local artists and their work. Within 10 minutes, I discovered that one of my friends (industrial designer) also creates woodwork through lasers as a hobby. What?! Very quickly I was seeing the threads that weaved this social fabric amongst us. They were always there, I just didn’t see it until I ventured into social spaces I don’t normally go into (like jewelry stores and places that sell rocks that hang off your earlobes).

    So now, I’m blogging about this in my favorite cafe “Iris Book Cafe”. I know that when I hang out here long enough, more insights will come to me about the building of community. I know that it is only a matter of moments before someone will walk through those doors and become a new friend.

    • April says:

      Rex, this is a GREAT story!!! Thank you so much — I THINK those dangly rocks are called earrings…? no?

      I also love the surprise when we find out the ‘hidden’ gift of someone we already know… like you said, it was already there, we just never looked. This is the kind of energy I think we’re all craving… each action we take and then talk about has huge impact for just this reason. Thank you for sharing this great story and putting your own pledge into action. Keep em coming!

  3. Caitlin says:

    April, I share these views, and that’s just what inspired my holiday gifts. Everything homemade, and materials sourced as locally as possible, or with things I already had. Don’t want to go into too much detail about the gifts until they’re given, but in a week check my blog to see what I made!

    • Caitlin says:

      sorry, thought my website would show up in the comment: it’s

      • April says:

        Hi Caitlin, nice to meet you! Thanks for stopping in and sharing your website. I just checked it out–I couldn’t find the holiday gifts though, can you point me in the right direction? Would love to see them!!!


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